|Gerry Adams at Carrickmore, Sunday 16 April|
|Barry McElduff & Martin McGuinness|
honouring the Nazi collaborator,
Carrickmore-born Joe McGarrity
A few years ago the Sinn Fein cumann in Carrickmore decided to change its name from the Frank Ward Cumann by adding that of JoeMcGarrity to make it the Frank Ward/ Joe McGarrity Sinn Fein cumann. So who was Joe McGarrity?
He was born in Carrickmore in 1874 and then emigrated from Tyrone to America in 1892 at the age of eighteen. There he settled in Philadelphia and the following year he joined Clan na Gael, the American sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
Clan na Gael provided support to the IRB in pursuing violent action to advance the republican cause of Irish separatism and independence.
For example, Can na Gael devised the Fenian dynamite campaign (1881-1885), when republican bombers attacked targets in Great Britain, a strategy that the IRA and the Provisional IRA and Official IRA were to take up in later years. Can na Gael provided the IRB with money, arms and ideas.
However by the time McGarrity arrived in Philadelphia in 1892 republicanism was in poor shape. In America Clan na Gael was stgnant and back in Ireland the IRB was moribund.
|Republican hero Joseph McGarrity collaborated with the Nazis|
McGarrity certainly breathed life into Clan na Gael and remained the leading figure in the organisation and an unrepentant physical force republican for the rest of his days,
He helped to finance the 1916 Easter Rising and later he continued to supply arms and ammunition to Irish republicans during the Irish War of Independence.
|Senior Nazi Hermann Goring|
met IRA representative Joe McGarrity
The Carrickmore-born republican also collaborated directly with the Nazis and sought their support for the IRA. Indeed he was the initial link between Irish republicanism and the Nazis. He met Nazi agents in America and travelled to Berlin, where he met the senior Nazi Hermann Goring.
This led on to Plan Kathleen, a plan for a German invasion of Northern Ireland, which would be supported by the IRA. However the plan came to nothing when the Nazis recognised that the IRA was a small, weak and incompetent organisation.
Nevertheless the IRA chief of staff at that time, Sean Russell, was another collaborator and so the IRA in Ireland and Clan na Gael in america were both controlled by men who were happy to collaborate with the Nazis.
While Ulstermen and Irishmen, Protestant and Roman Catholic, were fighting the Nazi war machine on the battlefields of Europe, Joe McGarrity and Sean Russell were working with the Nazis and seeking their support.
I don't know if Gerry Adams mentioned Joseph McGarrity when he was in Carrickmore yesterday but he is certainly the president of a political party which continues to honour this notorious Nazi collaborator.